By Mark Shenton
The 50th anniversary of the release of the film version of West Side Story will be marked by a series of screenings at London's Royal Albert Hall, running June 22-June 24, 2012, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra performing live under the baton of Jayce Ogren.
The film has been re-mastered in high definition, with its original vocals and dialogue intact. Ogren has previously conducted the BBC Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony and the Grand Rapids Symphony. On the opera stage, Ogren made his Canadian Opera Company debut with Stravinsky's The Nightingale & Other Short Fables. For New York City Opera, he has conducted The Magic Flute and Bernstein's A Quiet Place.
In a press statement, Jasper Hope, chief operating officer at the Royal Albert Hall, commented, "West Side Story is an iconic film musical known and loved the world over and the Hall offers these live orchestral performances as part of the world-wide celebrations of the film's 50th anniversary. These exclusive anniversary screenings, accompanied for the first time ever in Europe by the live performance of one of the greatest scores ever composed, will introduce this timeless classic to an entirely new generation."
Paul Epstein, executive vice-president of The Leonard Bernstein Office, added, "The brilliance and crispness of the brand new Blu-Ray print, together with the visceral excitement brought by a full orchestra of over 85 musicians, right there in the Hall with you, will make this experience of West Side Story one that you will never forget."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7589 8212, or visit www.royalalberthall.com.